The Convair B Hustler , designed and produced by American aircraft manufacturer Convair , was the first operational bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. To achieve the high speeds desired, Convair adapted the delta wing used by contemporary fighters such as the Convair F The bomber was powered by four General Electric J79 engines in underwing pods. Later, four external hardpoints were added, enabling it to carry up to five weapons. Designed to replace the subsonic Boeing B Stratojet strategic bomber, the B became notorious for its sonic boom heard on the ground by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight. The B was designed to fly at high altitudes and supersonic speeds to avoid Soviet interceptors.
Convair B Hustler - Wikipedia
The B made its initial flight on Nov. The thin fuselage prevented internal carriage of bombs so an external droppable two-component pod beneath the fuselage contained extra fuel and a nuclear weapon, reconnaissance equipment, or other specialized gear. The B crew consisted of a pilot, navigator-bombardier, and defense systems operator. Bs set 19 world speed and altitude records and won five different aviation trophies. There were a total of Bs built: 30 test and pre-production aircraft and 86 for inventory.
Convair B-58 Hustler of the U.S. Air Force
The Convair B was the world's first supersonic bomber, and the first to reach Mach 2. The delta-winged B made its initial flight on November 11, The service ceiling of the plane was 60, feet, and it had a range of 4, miles.
The Convair B Hustler was the first operational supersonic jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. It carried a nuclear weapon and fuel in a large pod under the fuselage rather than in an internal bomb bay. Replacing the Boeing B Stratojet medium bomber, it was originally intended to fly at high altitudes and supersonic speeds to avoid Soviet fighters. The B received a great deal of notoriety due to its sonic boom, which was often heard by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight. The introduction of highly accurate Soviet surface-to-air missiles forced the B into a low-level penetration role that severely limited its range and strategic value, and it was never employed to deliver conventional bombs.